Today the National Post reported on an oil spill that has been taking place in the Gulf of Mexico for 14 years, and is soon to surpass the 2010 BP oil spill in barrels of oil spilled.
Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project and Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians spoke in Zurich last week urging the city not to privatize its drinking water systems.
Her intervention comes at a time of heated debate regarding the future of public drinking water systems in Switzerland.
In July this year, the parliament of Zurich voted to revise local legislation in order to allow for private investments.
As Barlow argued, there is overwhelming evidence demonstrating that privatization has been disastrous for communities around the world:
“The public and communities lose control as local government officials abdicate control over a vital public service,” she explained. “Private water companies are accountable to their shareholders, not to the people they serve and often restrict public access to information about their operations Because they have to make a profit, they have to cut corners, raise water rates or lay off workers - often all three.”
Investor-state dispute settlement was tempered in the USMCA, but the government needs to justify why it persists asking for it in other agreements.
Blog written by Maude Barlow and Sujata Dey posted in the Huffington Post, October 19, 2018.
The current Liberal government recently had a road to Damascus moment. After defending Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions (ISDS) around the world, suddenly Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she championed the elimination of Chapter 11 between Canada and the U.S. in the new USMCA.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recently released special report can be summed up as: “it’s worse than we thought, and we’re doing less than we promised.” This isn’t new – it has been the crux of every international climate report we’ve had since the UN started working on them in 1988. But as we get closer to our planetary tipping points, the implications are becoming much more existential. To have a decent chance at staying below global warming of 1.5ºC, we will need to cut our emissions in half in the next 12 years.
This week, Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow and Trade Campaigner Sujata Dey were in Italy to meet with concerned groups and politicians about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the threats trade agreements pose to food production and water.
The Canadian government ratified CETA despite massive public opposition, but Italy has held out, concerned about the harm CETA will do to the country’s agricultural and food traditions.
In July, Dey noted in a blog post that the 5-Star, Liga Nord Italian coalition government reiterated that not only would it not ratify CETA, but it would remove any official who promotes the agreement.